Meet Martin Tärnrot: Model Railroad Academy Contributor

Model Railroad Academy is excited to announce our newest contributor: Martin Tärnrot. Martin is a professional model railroader from Sweden and has been a railfan from a young age. We sat down with Martin to learn more about him and his model railroad journey!

About Martin

I was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1970. My father had been working since the late 40s within the medicine industry and was often traveling for business to Germany. He then sometimes brought back HO-scale trains, which at the time were very precious toys for any kid in Sweden. We together started to build my first “own” model railroad when I was seven years old.

My father was also a dedicated photographer. He had a Super 8 camcorder, which he used to capture every family event. His super 8 camera and collection of “Annual Book of Photography” has laid the ground for my interest in photo and film. I still today have his camera hanging on the wall in my studio with the editing device he used to cut and glue the strips of film together.

My mom was active in several different charity communities, but probably had a bit of remorse over the time she spent there instead of spending the time with me. I had to come along on numerous meetings every month. However, the good part about this was that she bought me a HO-scale house kit for each meeting, so I had something to pass the time with. The layout therefore quickly got populated with houses and structures.

Model railroading has been my platform of friendship and learning my entire life. I discovered the world of electronics back in 1981, when I got help to design and build my first signal mast using 3mm LEDs. This triggered me to learn electronics design, first analogue and later digital. Ten years later I graduated from school as an electronics design engineer.

I was then working for 30 years as an application engineer, explaining to customers what they need to know about motion controllers for industrial robotics. How to set up night vision compatible displays in helicopters, how to optimize the user ergonomics in excavators and studio broadcast equipment, and how to achieve EMC in cell phone test chambers.

When YouTube came online back in 2005, I noticed that they were missing someone who knew a bit more about model railroading than most, who knew how to set up the light and a camcorder properly and who could explain how to build model railroad in a simple and inspiring way. I followed that route and it has been two years working full time as diorama artist making how-to videos.

Making how-to videos is not about “knowing it all” or “being the best.” It´s about spreading inspiration, which enables the viewers to push their creations to the next level—which is what I hope to do at Model Railroad Academy.

-Martin Tärnrot

  • (will not be published)

26 Responses to “Meet Martin Tärnrot: Model Railroad Academy Contributor”

  1. Sue C Huseby

    Helloo! Martin, I am currently building a HO railroad with my grandson using bits and pieces from the train garden my father build in the late 1950s. As you might expect, we are having some issues getting this mixed system to work but having fun in the process. I have really enjoyed learning your techniques for scenery and track layout. Even though I now understand I have made a lot of missteps in my early track layouts, I plan to carry on getting a layout I like with trains that go around. My 8-year-old grandson want me to include running water, for the waterfall! Umm…not sure that will happen. Anyway, love your show, keep up the good work. Sue from Maryland, USA

  2. John Mitchell

    Hello Martin, I have just purchased a Marklin CS2 but I am having trouble understanding how to operate the system.
    the unit was supplied with a English translation set of sheets but realy not adequate. I am loath to purchase a locomotive and track if I am not able to understand the system. Is there a book available in English that explains how to operate the system? I am considering moving away from my existing DCC system and going the Marklin way due to existing systems are too unreliable.

  3. Dave

    I have enjoyed your videos on You Tube and now on MRA. I like the fact that you are so upbeat and pleasant, and are very good at explaining what you are doing. I have learned quite a lot from your videos. THANKS, and keep them coming. Best Regards!!!

  4. Angelo

    I enjoyed the how too videos- I would like to know what type of the resin printer did you use to make the lumber stacks

    • Angelo

      Haven’t heard from Martin in regards to the 3D printer he used for the lumber stacks. I would like to use the same one as he had great success with it

  5. Martin Waltman

    This is Martin from InterPresent Caribbean, Inc.
    I have an inquiry for a scale model tree.
    Pls let me know your e-mail address so I can send you some more information.
    Thank you.

  6. Robert Dix

    Hello Martin,
    Thank you for the contribution of your personal time and experiences. You gave me an opportunity to learn more about the hobby I am about to begin.

  7. Mike Zenft

    From USA……….enjoy watching you and your informative videos. My son and i have o gauge trains and do all our own layout design and modeling. Keep up the fun…………mike

  8. Sue-Arlene Bury

    Your videos are so inspiring and easy to follow that I have this started with my first ever train set. I am so looking forward to being able to build my own scenery. Just to let you know I am in my seventies. Thankyou so much for the insight into a fantastic new world.

  9. JOHN

    One of my favorite contributors. I love his graet hello which always brightens my day. He always has great lessons and tips. Thanks for joinging MRA!

  10. GERALD

    Have been watching all of Martin’s work Model Railroad Academy. I just wanted to know if he knows if the British show “Model Town” is available anywhere. I have a Youth In Model Railroading chapter and think those shows along with Martin’s classes would be great for the kids. Thanks—Gerry Drewes

    • Customer Service

      Hello Gerald,

      Here’s what the experts had to say about your question:
      Firstly, I’d try to Google it.
      Let me know if you have success.

      Model Railroad Academy Video Membership

  11. Varley

    Hey Martin: your videos are succinct, well organized and very informative. Thanks for you commitment to sharing your knowledge!

  12. John E. Adams

    Dear Mr. Tarnrot,
    I have watched a few of you short video’s on trees and Ivy. You have impressive skills as a creative modeler!
    I use to have a layout in the basement at my father’s home when I was preteen years. Unfortunately, I moved around a lot with my construction job and never got back into model railroading. Now that I am disable, I live in an apartment and no room or money for a layout. But I sure enjoy watching model railroad video’s, especially yours. Maybe someday we will move to a larger apartment I can afford a small layout in N scale, although HO is my scale of choice.
    Please, keep up the video’s and I’ll be watching!
    And I would like to see a whole video of your layout. I’ll have to become a member again to watch more video’s.
    I wish you all the best!

    • Customer Service

      Hello John,

      Thank you for contacting us. I am excited to hear you want to continue with your Premium membership to our online community. We add new full-length videos, articles, and content monthly!

      To continue enjoying these great benefits, please login and then click on the link below to accept this special offer:

      If you have any other questions, please chat, email, or contact Customer Service at 1-855-208-7399.
      We greatly appreciate your business!


      Model Railroad Academy Video Membership

  13. ALEX

    watched all his youtube video’s on his page … learned ton’s of cool stuff ..

  14. Al Ravella

    Martin hello and welcome to my favorite video site. I have seen you several times in You Tube vids and was impressed by you. Then I saw the video you did no static grass and I was so impressed that I subscribed to your You Tube offerings. Your demonstrations are complete, non assuming, and simply presented. I will be looking for more from you on Railroad Academy.

  15. BARRY

    Welcome to MRA. I’ve been following some of your YouTube videos and enjoy the friendly chatter you have when working through a modeling scene. Look forward to seeing more of your tips & tricks!

  16. Lyall Waaser

    Thanks for joining Model Railroad Academy. I have a small HO scale railroad on a 5 1/4 X 8 table. I read a lot of and watch a lot of videos from MRA. My biggest problem is that I am not an artist and have no imagination, so I have to use ideas I find exactly as I find them. I hope you can add to the imaginations of the current contributors so that I can steal more ideas for my own layout. Thanks again.


    I watched Martin’s video on making “sacks” of grain, seed, etc. on Model Railroad Academy using modeling clay. Very ingenious and Martin is a very entertaining host. I am looking forward to seeing more of his videos and I’ll now have to seek out his articles as well. Welcome aboard Martin!

  18. DAVE

    Thank you for your videos. I really enjoyed how to make sacks from clay. Easy and inexpensive. I am also impressed with the water streaming from the hydrant. Really neat!!!!

  19. Peter

    And all the things Martin published so far is realy amazing, inspiring and for sure, easy to do with simple and inexpensive materials.